Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Buckle up.

From today's WSJ:

In September, the Daily Nebraskan, the student newspaper at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, published a column by Derek Kieper that argued against mandatory seat-belt laws:

As laws become increasingly strict for seat belts, fewer people will respond positively by buckling up in response to the laws. There seems to be a die-hard group of non-wearers out there who simply do not wish to buckle up no matter what the government does. I belong to this group. . . .

Telling me to wear my seat belt is the same as making sure I have some sort of proper education before diving into a swimming pool. If I want to dive in without knowing how to swim, that is my right. And if I want to be the jerk that flirts with death and rides around with my seat belt off, I should be able to do that, too.
Today's Lincoln Journal Star reports the sad ending of the Kieper story:

Kieper, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, died early Tuesday morning when the Ford Explorer he was a passenger in travelled off an icy section of Interstate 80 and rolled several times in a ditch. . . . Derek, who was thrown from the vehicle, was not wearing a seat belt.
When you flirt with death, you run the risk that death has something more serious in mind.

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